During the first week of December, Marist senior Alyssa Chevalier participated in an amazing week-long experience at the Brookfield Zoo Vet Hospital. Alyssa (St. Christina) is a member of the King Scholars program at Brookfield Zoo. This program takes an innovative, hands-on approach to leadership development by incorporating environmental literacy and inclusion to cultivate the next generation of conservation-minded, community-driven leaders, called Next Gen Professionals. The King Scholars program is open to students from 8th grade- 12th grade.
Each member of the King Scholars program is required to complete a leadership project that ties together personal passions with conservation. As her leadership project, Alyssa wrote a proposal to the Brookfield Zoo Vet Hospital suggesting the creation of the Animal Care and Wellness Career Investigation.
According to Alyssa’s proposal, “The Animal Care and Wellness Career Investigation” centers the fundamentals of the zoo’s clinic experience that boasts a preventative medicine program and includes examinations, testing, as well as close monitoring as part of the zoo’s preventative medicine program. Next Gen Professionals will spend time in the zoo’s cutting edge Animal Hospital. The zoo’s hospital features advanced imaging equipment like an ultrasound and CT scanner to help diagnose problems, a complete laboratory of analysis of blood and other samples, advanced equipment for monitoring anesthesia, and even an intensive care unit for animals that must be hospitalized for special care.”
Alyssa says she created this proposal because she is “deeply interested in pursuing zoo medicine and there are extremely limited opportunities to job-shadow zoo vets as a high school student.”
During her week-long experience, Alyssa shadowed the daily activities and procedures in the hospital. She heard about the veterinary career first-hand from those working including technicians, vet students, residents, and veterinarians.
Below are some photos from Alyssa’s experience:
Exam of an American Kestrel under anesthesia.
Alyssa at the Zoo with some of the species she got to work with.
Congratulations to Alyssa for all of her hard work and having the courage to explore great opportunities that give her hands-on-learning experience to help her future success in zoological studies.